Belfast Telegraph

It's smiles all round for a few dogged NI bargain hunters as they bag early Christmas gifts

By Kate Buck and Donna Deeney

Black Friday may not have brought the shopping frenzy retailers were hoping for, but there were plenty of deals to be had for Northern Ireland's tenacious bargain hunters.

The Belfast Telegraph spoke to eager buyers as one of the busiest days of the retail year got underway.

Stuart Johnston (42) had taken the day off work and spent the last 10 days searching for the best deals to go for.

He said: "Everything I've bought I was going to buy before so they are genuine bargains.

"I've been doing it every year since it started about three or four years ago and each year I save about £200.

"I know what I'm going to buy before it starts so I definitely don't impulse buy.

"Over here, I don't think Black Friday is hyped up too much. I am quite astute when it comes to money and I've been generally getting 25% off of things and the money is better off in my pocket than in somebody else's."

Daniel Sweeney (53) was in Victoria Square with his wife to get some Christmas shopping for their three children, but thought some of the shops were not playing fair when it came to discounts.

He said: "We think some of the shops are not playing the game particularly well in terms of the reductions but the stuff that we've bought has been fairly well reduced."

Yesterday was his first Black Friday and he managed to make a saving of £150 in the sales, including a dress from Topshop which was down from £90 to £35.

Corrie Jamieson (15) had come with his aunt Karen and said he had been looking at tracksuits in JD Sports which had been reduced from £185 to £55.

He added: "It gets you looking forward to Christmas a wee bit with Black Friday and all the deals and you can do your Christmas shopping.

"I've not managed to pick up any deals yet but I'm looking at buying some tracksuits and shoes in JD Sports but I've never really thought about how much money I'm going to save."

Colette Russell (52) thought Brexit could be the reason behind so many good deals on offer.

"I think shops are pushing the boat out even more this year and retailers are trying very hard because there's a sense of urgency because Brexit has scared everyone a wee bit," she said.

Sisters Jackie Muldoon (50) and Nuala Murray (47) had come into Belfast from Cookstown to take advantage of the Black Friday deals.

Nuala said: "It's been very easy to find some good deals. There's some good deals on offer here. I think it's definitely worth the hype."

And in Londonderry there was similar frenetic scenes at the checkouts. At Currys PC World, on the Crescent Link retail park in the Waterside, there were bargains galore for the steady flow of shoppers going into and out of the store.

Among them was Georgia McDaid who was over the moon with her £200 saving on a Dyson - its price was sliced from £549 to £349.

She said: "I came because it was Black Friday and saved £200. I waited until today hoping it would be reduced so I am delighted.

"There are loads of bargains inside the store for anybody looking to buy Christmas presents."

Ticking a few items off the Christmas list and saving pounds at the same time was David Arthur, who snapped up two televisions and a laptop for his daughter.

He said: "I had been looking at buying a new TV for a few months and had been pricing different ones but I waited until Black Friday thinking it would be the best time to buy and it was. In the end I bought the 55" TV I had been looking for and a 32" one as well.

"I also bought a laptop for my daughter and reckon overall I saved around £400. I just have to get them all into the car now."

Sean Beagan was laid down with purchases that his wife had made, but he wasn't complaining because of all the savings.

He said: "We came because my son rang us to say there was a printer at half price, which we were looking for, but we also picked up a toaster and an electric kettle because they were half price too.

"We didn't necessarily need the toaster or the kettle right now, but these are the kind of things you always use so we will need them some time in the future, and sure you couldn't beat getting something at half price."

Belfast Telegraph

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